Four things to remember as you head into the holidays with a blended family.
The end of the year Holiday Season can be a frantic and discombobulating for the strongest family bonds. Divorce, re-marriage, and step kids only adds to the fun! Here are a few tips my clients have used to alleviate the holiday crazies when two families are in play.
- Be flexible: Things happen during the holidays that no one expected: Relatives choose to visit from out of state, travel plans get delayed, our adolescent and teen age kids may no longer want to cooperate with the terms of your hard fought custody Agreement. Remember what we celebrate: birth, renewal, forgiveness, compassion, generosity, kindness. Soften your passions and let these energies rise in your consciousness. Permitting the other parent to be a few hours late for visitation or asking for an extra overnight or two may be ok during this time of year.
- Send a card (or a small gift) to the Ex. As hard as it may be, remembering the other parent this time of year is good modeling for the children. By doing so, we demonstrate that mature adults do not hold grudges and can move past very difficult times with integrity. Our children will appreciate it and see that it is possible for people to heal from very difficult times and move forward with their lives.
- Relax and enjoy the season: It is really not a good idea to go into the new year having had a terribly stressed and acrimonious holiday season. Let go of the small stuff and try to give yourself a break on the big stuff. It is very unlikely that the entire realm of “bad things” that we imagine can happen will happen during the last 2 or 3 weeks of the year! Perhaps now would be a good time to take up that mindfulness practice you have been delaying, or sign up to learn Tai Chi,Yoga or some other creative practice you find of interest?
- What will you remember? Ask yourself what you want to remember about the holidays when the kids are grown and gone. This will happen sooner than you realize. Do you want to remember fighting with the Ex, Emergency Hearings in Family Court, writing nasty Affidavits about the other parent? These are not good memories and you will regret having them. Again, be flexible- its the holidays. Let the small stuff go and try to spread the goodness of the season.
We will survive the holidays, most of us usually do!
Have a great thanksgiving,